Sunday, February 8, 2009

So close, and yet...

Continuing our theme of falling short of our goals, Daddy took Smunch to the San Francisco Giants FanFest yesterday. We did NOT play this up at all...because I sent them off with my fingers crossed that it wouldn't be too much of a disappointment. Because, Smunch's idol, Tim Lincecum was going to be there. And I already knew that the chances of meeting Timmy were going to be slim. But I was hopeful...'cause who doesn't want their little boy to meet his baseball idol in real life?

I didn't go, even though I would have liked to. But I had a birthday lunch and massage scheduled. I might've put it off if I didn't know that my birthday partier in crime was desperate for some pampering. And I wasn't feeling great, so I figured some pampering wouldn't hurt me either. So...I'm writing a blog post about stuff I didn't even see. Descriptions and photographs provided by Daddy.

The photo at the top was the scene at 9:40am or so from where Daddy and Smunch waited in line to get into the park. Everybody there no doubt wanted to see Tim Lincecum. They all wanted his autograph. They all wanted his photo. Daddy estimated there were 15-20,000 people there. Sounds about right.

Fortunately, there were other cool things to do, like walk around out on the field, that totally capture an almost-7-year-old's imagination.Then Smunch and Daddy went over to the kids' area where only kids could get autographs. This was a calculated play on Daddy's part, knowing that Lincecum really likes kids and might start off in the kid area. Once they were in the autograph line, they couldn't see who they'd be able to meet at the end. There was a sign with a list, but they couldn't see it until they were almost in. Turns out, Tim Lincecum was right there on the bottom of the sign. He was right there...until about 5 minutes before Smunch's turn at the autograph table.

This just kills me because I've actively fostered Smunch's love of this guy and because I knew it would be something he'd always remember if he got to meet his baseball idol. But in the end, I wonder if it's not better that he didn't.

Smunch ended up having the guys at the table autograph his Giants jersey...which is cool, but when I think how much we spent on that jersey, I'm not sure it's that cool. I mean, a Tim Lincecum autograph would have been worthy of never wearing the jersey again, but instead, he got autographs from the first base coach and a hitting coach (neither or whom ever played for the Giants, although the hitting coach was Carney Lansford, who I used to watch playing 3rd base for the As), he has one from Pat Misch, a relief pitcher I'd never heard of...sorry, Pat!
and the highlight was an autograph from Fred Lewis, one of the Giants' starting outfielders, who looks pretty mean in his official team photo, but turns out to be a super nice guy.

Still, it kind of would have been a bummer to have Tim Lincecum's autograph on a jersey with a bunch of random people who may or may not play for the Giants. It really needs to have an item all of its own. Next year, we'll buy a baseball and hope for better luck.

Smunch didn't whine or cry when Timmy's name came off the autograph list while they were standing in line...unlike some of the other kids there. I think somehow he was prepared for that disappointment (unlike the Pinewood Derby loss).

And after he was finished with the autograph line, it turned out that inside the "Kids Zone", up on the stage there was the man. The Franchise. The Freak. Timmy in all his 24-year-old, skater-esque glory, live in the flesh taking questions from his fans up on stage. At least he got to see Tim Lincecum from about five feet away. There's something to be said for that.

When I got back, all nice and relaxed from my massage and a nice lunch with my friend, Smunch didn't really have a whole lot to say about FanFest. I think I was more disappointed for him than he was for himself. He says he's going again next year. When I asked if he was so excited about it that he couldn't wait, he said, "Yeah." Hmm. Guess we'll see how he feels about his favorite players next year!

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